Marrying Mr. English:The English Brothers #7(10)

By: Katy Regnery



Her eyes had watered as he confessed that he wanted to help her. She wasn’t the type of girl who’d had much help in life—no lucky breaks, no windfalls, no happy twists of fate. Not until Tom English had walked into her life.

And suddenly she heard herself whisper, “You’re something between a dream and a miracle.”

His eyes—his warm, kind eyes—widened suddenly, heating up and darkening as he took a step toward her.

“E-Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote that,” she said quickly. “I didn’t make that up. I borrowed it.”

“Barrett,” said Tom, reaching out to touch her cheek with his fingertips, the touch as soft as breath. “Not Burnett.”

Leaning into his touch, she looked into his eyes and grinned curiously, uncertain of his meaning.

“Your cousin said ‘Burnett’ this morning,” he explained, grinning back at her.

“Oh,” she whispered, chuckling softly. “Yes. Barrett.”

His thumb swiped gently over her bottom lip, and Eleanora’s breath caught. She wondered if he’d dip his head and kiss her. She hoped he would. Oh God, had she ever wanted anything more?

“You’re the dream,” he said softly, staring deeply into her eyes.

“Tom . . .,” she sighed, taking another step toward him, the front of her sweater grazing the nubby tan corduroy of his jacket.

Suddenly he shook his head like he was coming out of a trance and took a step back, dropping his hand. She watched him fist it by his side, then flex his fingers, spreading them as though in punishment.

“I’ll see you tomorrow,” he muttered.

Then he turned and walked away.

His name lingered on the tip of her tongue as she watched him stalk away, his legs long in dark jeans, his shoulders hunched forward. As he passed Van and Evie, he stopped and whispered something by Van’s ear that caused his friend to break away from Evie, give her a quick hug, and follow Tom down the hall toward the elevator. Eleanora watched until they were out of sight, then shifted her gaze to Evie.

“Someone’s in a pissy mood,” her cousin observed, hurrying down the hall. “I guess you didn’t invite him in, huh?”

I would have, thought Eleanora, steadying her trembling fingers and working the key into the lock. “I think he was . . . just tired. Or something.”

“Or something, all right. He practically growled at Van to join him for a drink downstairs.”

Eleanora twisted the key and reached down for her suitcase, pushing the door open and feeling along the wall for a light switch. Evie tumbled into the room behind her, knocking into Eleanora, who was frozen in place.

Floor-to-ceiling windows looked out on the Strip, and because of the mirrors on the walls and ceilings, it gave the illusion that the room was decorated in twinkle lights. It was like being inside a jewelry box, she thought, sighing in appreciation. She stepped down two carpeted stairs into the large bedroom suite, which held two queen-size beds, a sofa, and a table with two chairs, not stopping until her fingers gingerly touched the massive plates of glass.

“Wow!”

Eleanora looked over her shoulder at Evie, whose mouth gaped in wonder.

“Oh, Ellie!” said Evie, approaching the first of two beds, then looking up at Eleanora with a beaming smile. “Look!”

Draped across the bed was a white gown covered in clear dry cleaning plastic.

“It’s a wedding dress! Try it on, Ellie!”

Eleanora crossed the room slowly, her eyes glued to the beautiful dress. She carefully slid the plastic up and lifted the hanger from the bed. The dress was strapless and calf length, made entirely of white lace, except for a pale blue sash around the waist. It was, hands down, the most beautiful dress Eleanora had ever seen.

“There’s a card!”

Evie picked up a white envelope from the bedspread and held it out to her cousin.

With trembling hands, Eleanora opened the envelope and read aloud, “Every bride deserves a wedding dress. Thank you for marrying me tomorrow. Tom.”

Evie fell back on the other bed, hands pressed over her heart, sighing dramatically. “I wish I’d gone for him! He’s utterly dreamy, Ellie!”

Just then, the doorbell rang, and Evie leaped up. Hoping it was Tom, come back to kiss her good night, Eleanora rushed to the stairs, only to find a bellhop wheeling in a table covered with a white tablecloth. On it, there was a silver ice bucket with a bottle of Champagne, two glasses, and a platter of chocolate-covered strawberries.

“Here, miss?” asked the young man, carrying the table down the two stairs and wheeling it beside the windows.

“F-fine,” stammered Eleanora, holding Tom’s card to her breasts as she watched the bellhop slide the chairs from the room table to the linen-covered table.

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